If I were to pick the one question that people ask me the most, it would be this: “How do I find good technicians?”

It’s no secret that it is a challenge to find qualified technicians. Programs are created to train up technicians, but it seems like there are none available when you need them which, most of the time, was yesterday. So, how to do we find good technicians today?

Hire Low and Grow:

One of the fundamentals to finding any good employee is to hire low and grow. By this we mean that we encourage dealers to find a person that can serve at a lower level position and grow into a more mature position. An example of this is hiring a service coordinator, or someone who cleans and stages equipment for technicians, and growing them into your next B-level technician. This is vitally important as you are trying to find technicians.

Job Recruiter Sites:

As you think about positing your job on a job recruiter site, it’s important to understand how it works. When you use a job recruiter site, it’s much like using Google for a specific function. You may hear phrases like “Search Engine Optimization” (or “SEO” for short) thrown around by your website developer or people who help with marketing. What it means is simply this: you use other words or phrases to make sure that your webpage, or job positing in this case, comes up as many times as possible.

This is exactly what we want to have happen with job recruiter sites. Our goal is to use words or phrases for the same position that cross over into other industries. For example, if we are looking for a B-level technician we could use words or phrases like: Automotive, auto, tech, technician, mechanic, service department, cities or nicknames of areas around your area, or even local technical colleges. Again, the goal is that when someone looks up a related job, your job positing comes up as an option.

Other places to look:

Ask your other employees. People like people who are like themselves. If you like the people you currently have employed, chances are that they know other people who are similar to themselves who may be looking for a change. Always start with your employees.

Think about hiring retired firemen. I was recently visiting with a dealer who had hired a retired fireman. He was mechanically inclined, was able to deal with bulky machinery, and understood urgency. They found that when firemen are ready for a more stable schedule that, with a little training, they make great technicians.

Another place to look along the same line in truck drivers. It is no secret that they are road warriors, and often, when they are looking for is a more predictable schedule, a role in a shop is a great fit. Does it take a little training to get them where they need to be? Yes, but the small investment you make in training can pay off big time in the end.

Many dealers often have luck with mechanics who are coming out of the military. They often have high levels of technical expertise and a great work ethic.

Yes, it is hard to find good technicians. But by opening up your pool of where you are looking and accepting that there will be training involved regardless of who you hire, you will be able to find technicians who will help grow your service department.